Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a pituitary hormone that is essential for sexual development and reproduction in both men and women. LH is regulated by GnRH from the hypothalamus which is sensitive to circulating levels of sex hormones. LH interacts with receptors on ovarian follicles and promotes their maturation. In the middle of the menstrual cycle, a surge of LH triggers ovulation and production of progesterone by the corpus luteum that is necessary for the maturation of the uterine endometrium for implantation of the fertilized egg. In males, LH stimulates production of testosterone by the testes.
Reference ranges (IU/L):
– Follicular phase: 1.9 to 12.5 IU/L
– Peak of the menstrual cycle: 8.7 to 76.3 IU/L
– Luteal phase: 0.5 to 16.9 IU/L
– Pregnant women: less than 1.5 IU/L
– Past menopause: 15.9 to 54.0 IU/L
– Using contraceptives: 0.7 to 5.6 IU/L
– Men between the ages of 20 and 70: 0.7 to 7.9 IU/L
– Men over 70: 3.1 to 34.0 IU/L
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